Is Tech Site Mashable.com Siding with Hamas Terrorists?
Mashable.com, one of the largest tech and culture websites on the planet, appears to be taking a side in the ongoing war in Gaza.
The site best known for posts about things buried in software user agreements and happy photo ops with the president who claims that he isn't interested in photo ops is taking a decidedly pro-Hamas editorial point of view as it and Israel fight in Gaza.
That war started when terrorists linked to Hamas, which is itself categorized as a terrorist group by the U.S. State Department and the European Union, kidnapped three Israeli teenagers and later executed them. One of those teenagers, 16-year-old Naftali Frankel, also had American citizenship.
On June 14, when Mashable reported on the boys' kidnapping, in describing Hamas it put "terrorist group" in scare quotes.
Even after the boys' bodies were discovered, Mashable made sure to distance Hamas from the murders.
Hamas soon began to launch some of its estimated 10,000 to 20,000 rockets at Israeli population centers. Israel has responded with an air, land and sea campaign to destroy Hamas' tunnels and its rocket arsenal.
Israel is going out of its way to avoid civilian casualties, while Hamas places civilian casualties at the center of its strategy. Hamas targets Israel's civilians, and it places its weapons close to Palestinian schools and hospitals to force Israel to choose between risking killing Palestinian civilians to destroy those weapons, or leave its own civilians at risk if it does not destroy those weapons. If Palestinian civilians die in Israeli attacks, they become part of the group's propaganda. If Israel decides not to strike Hamas weapons caches near civilian targets, then some Israelis will be attacked with those very weapons.
Mashable's coverage of the conflict has tilted away from Israel, the Middle East's sole democracy and one in which Arabs can become full citizens, and toward Hamas terrorists. Where Hamas rules, as in much of the Islamic world, Christians and Jews are at best second-class, are systematically persecuted and are often subjected to pogroms.
In an Associated Press story on the "disappearance" of rockets that Hamas hid in UN schools to which Mashable contributed reporting, the AP and Mashable hide the lead down in the sixth paragraph, and even then avoid calling Hamas what it is.
UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. secretary-general on Wednesday said he was "alarmed" to hear that rockets were placed in a U.N.-run school in Gaza, and now "have gone missing." He also demanded a full review of such incidents.
A spokesperson for Ban Ki-moon expressed the U.N. chief's "outrage and regret" at the placement of weapons at a site run by the global organization. This has happened at least twice so far in the current conflict, according to the U.N.
"Those responsible are turning schools into potential military targets, and endangering the lives of innocent children," U.N. staff and anyone seeking shelter, the statement said.
The rockets had been placed at one of the schools run by the U.N. refugee agency for Palestinians, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency in Gaza (UNRWA).
Once they were found, "in accordance with standard practice, UNRWA handed them over to the local authorities. Since then, they have gone missing," Ban's deputy spokesperson, Farhan Haq, said in an email Wednesday evening.
The Islamic militant group Hamas controls Gaza. The U.S., Israel and the European Union all consider Hamas a terrorist organization, but the U.N. does not.
The entire story is written to hide what Hamas was doing -- hiding its rockets in UN-run schools, rockets it uses against Israel's civilian population. Both of those acts are war crimes.
In the most biased story Mashable has run on the conflict to date, the site takes cues from Pallywood and puts a dying Palestinian child front and center. This is the kind of propaganda story Hamas hopes comes from Israel exercising its duty to defend its people.
In "'Am I Going to Die, Daddy?' The Child in Gaza Asked," reporter Jon Snow states that "If the Israelis have proved anything, it is that there is no such thing as a forensic strike." Snow never allows for the fact while Israel tries to avoid civilian casualties, while Hamas feeds on them.
After chronicling several heart-breaking cases of kids caught up in the crossfire, Snow rhetorically asks "Can they really be the acceptable collateral damage of targeting militants?"
The tone of the entire piece puts the moral responsibility for all casualties in Gaza not on Hamas, the terrorist group that is still dedicated to destroying Israel and which started the current conflict, but on Israel.
Snow ends his piece with this:
I was amazed to find a small sachet of shampoo as I went to a cold shower tonight — salty again. Obviously, you cannot make bombs out of shampoo and so there is no embargo on it. But clearly you can make bombs from paint because there isn’t any. This is the most wretchedly unpainted urban place I have ever been.
And beyond it all, why won’t they talk? This cannot go on. It is the children, tomorrow’s Palestinians, who are paying the price.
Today's and tomorrow's Israelis are paying a price too, are they not? You wouldn't know it from reading Jon Snow, or indeed anything published at Mashable.
Snow's piece fits well within Hamas' anti-Israel propaganda. Why is a tech site like Mashable publishing it?
The closest that the site gets to fair reporting is probably this piece on Jews and Arabs who are making friends and more despite the conflict. Even this piece, though, plays up Arabs' peaceful intent and ignores the anti-Semitism that pervades Arab culture and communications around the world.
The fact is, whether Mashable is aware of it or not, Palestinian voters elected Hamas to power knowing full well that that would mean war with Israel. And polls find that Palestinians continue to want to destroy Israel.
In the current war, Hamas and the Palestinians who still support Hamas are getting what they want.